We hear so much these days about accepting people as they are, but I believe that this is something that sounds great on a motivational plague, and has no basis in reality. When people have to deal with certain traits from those who have ADHD, it would be unfair to both the one with and without the disorder if there was unconditional acceptance of disruptive behaviour.
- Condition (Webster’s Dictionary):
- a way of living or existing
- the state in which something exists : the physical state of something
- the physical or mental state of a person or animal
- (b) a premise upon which the fulfillment of an agreement depends
Both of these definitions are fitting when it comes to addressing interactions and relationships involving those with ADHD.
It’s important that we not discriminate against people, be prejudice, stereotype others or reject people for superficial reasons. However, I do feel that it is healthy to explain to people with ADHD, that while you accept them, you don’t have to accept their behaviour.
What people often neglect to realise is that accepting people doesn’t mean accepting their distractive or unhealthy behaviours and habits. ADHD not only affects the life of the diagnosed; it also affects everyone else in their life.
It can feel quite hurtful for those who are rejected or mistreated as a result of the impact that their symptoms have had on others. Think of how difficult it is for us who do have this disorder to come to terms with the negative impact that our symptoms have on our own lives. It’s hard for others to deal with, it’s even harder for us to cope with.
People don’t understand that our symptoms can only be managed, they cannot be cured. Why not? Because we don’t have a disease. The best that we can do is manage our symptoms. Management means that we will have to accept the flaws and imperfections that come along with living the life of an ADHD person.
At the end of the day, my hope is that you realise you are not a bad person, selfish, cruel or unkind. You may not even be aware of the things you do and how they negatively impact others.
Thank the people who set boundaries and conditions with you. Remember to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to let them know that you do need their help in managing your symptoms as a lot of the behaviours and symptoms are unconscious to you. When others place boundaries or conditions on your ADHD behaviour or symptoms, it doesn’t mean that they are rejecting you. They are protecting themselves from having your disruptive and possibly destructive symptoms negatively affect them and in return preventing it from doing the same to you.